Breaking & Entering: Lizzo

Lizzo is entirely, refreshingly unapologetic. In "Good As Hell," she sings "you can have it all, no sacrifice," which has epitomized her career thus far.

Creating a space for women of color, especially those who are above a size 14, Lizzo has been a member of the music scene since 2012 with her first album Lizzobangers released a year later. Her social media feeds are testaments to her confidence and community, encouraging fans to be happy and in love with their bodies by praising her own. 

She's performed with St. Paul and the Broken Bones at South by Southwest and has been featured as the musical guest on The Late Show with David Letterman and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. That performance came a day after the 2016 election and was aided exclusively by females.

And Lizzo's Samantha Bee performance - as well as her social media innundation and general leotard-wearing self - brings us to a confidence paradox best summed up by Mindy Kaling. "I always get asked, 'Where do you get your confidence?' I think people are well meaning, but it's pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, 'You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You're not skinny, you're not white, you're a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you're worth anything?'"

This is the same woman who rightfully questioned why she should be labeled "courageous" for wearing a simple crop top.

To have another woman who fits in the 'not skinny, not white, woman' category and wears body-hugging or revealing clothing with confidence is a sign of hopeful normalization. We return to the paradox that Kaling presents, and it's something to be aware of when addressing women of color who are exuberant with their confidence. Lizzo (and Kaling) have a right to their confidence, especially after the work done to earn and prove it.

Lizzo features her minority compatriots and is accompanied by The Big Grrrls (a professional dance group for women who are over size 14) in her videos and performances consistantly, and not just as a prop to become powerful, but as genuine partners against the crime of normativity. "Scuse Me" off her 2016 EP Coconut Oil is essentially a theme song/ode to plus-sized women.

Lizzo embodies her differences in everything she does and produces, to a level that makes it seem like an industry standard - even though we all see the evidence that it's not.

While she just wrapped up a U.S. tour, she's recently started promotion for her single, "Scuse Me," including its accompanying video. She also has a few festival performances lined up - inlcuding a performance at the Essence Festival's all-female night inspired by Mary J. Blige.

A pop/hip-hop sensation, Lizzo has hopefully just begun her musical takeover. No word on another full-length LP yet, but Lizzo is an artist to watch out for - not just for her music, either.


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